PMID: 37125Aug 1, 1979

Embryology of the diffuse neuroendocrine system and its relationship to the common peptides

Federation Proceedings
A G Pearse, T Takor


The diffuse neuroendocrine system is constituted by the cells, now more than 40 in number, of the central and peripheral divisions of the amine precursor uptake and decarboxylation (APUD) series. At one time presumed to be derived from a common "neural" ancestor, all are now deemed to be "neuroendocrine-programmed," arising either in the embryonic epiblast itself or in one of its principal descendants. The APUD cells produce more than 35 physiologically active peptides and a small number of equally active amines. Within the last 3 years, 17 of these peptides have been identified jointly in endocrine cells and in neuronal cell bodies or processes. Sharing in this way a neural and an endocrine location and site of production, they are called the "common peptides." The diffuse neuroendocrine system is to be regarded as a third division of the nervous system, whose products suppress, amplify, or modulate the activities of the other two divisions. The relationship of its products to the cells and processes of these two divisions is currently the object of intensive inquiry.

Related Concepts

Entire Nervous System
Organum Vasculosum Laminae Terminalis
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Neurosecretory Systems
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